18 Jul ¿Sabrás Lo Qué Haces?
I hope so. In this 100 year old room, I sluggishly sit up at 6 a.m. and with my crusty eyes I look outside my window to see the sun shining brightly on the cargo ships passing through the Columbia River. For a minute, I think ” this is a beautiful morning, I should get up.” But, after 30 seconds, I get over it and fall asleep again until my alarm wakes me up and it is time to make my meals for the day: Breakfast: PB&J with milk; Lunch: PB&J with water; Dinner: Toasted PB&J with cold water. I was struggling. My Momma isn’t in Washington to make me my picadillas, my atole, or my huevos con jamón like back at home. I was willing to do all those things myself, but couldn’t afford it. Part of it was my fault, as I didn’t save enough money back in California to sustain myself the first couple weeks in Washington (till payday arrives). I had to budget like I have never had to. I had about $30 that week to pay for things that I vitally needed to: A) not go hungry; B) provide fuel for the car I had; C) wash my clothes. It was the first time I realized that gas and food is something that I didn’t have to worry intensively about, until now. I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I was struggling. I figured I could do it, but I couldn’t go long without some financial help from some close people (thank you so much). Budgeting for my stay in Washington/Oregon was one thing, but my first week officially working for Lewis and Clark National Historical Park (LEWI) was another overwhelming experience (in a good way). I learned about the Lewis and Clark expedition around elementary school, so it’s been a long time since I have heard about that part of American history. Back then, I remember learning that it was about these two men who went on an expedition across the country with Sacagawea leading them. I most definitely remember the word “discovered” was thrown around a lot, crediting these two men for writing about plants and land that was unknown to the eastern U.S. That’s the knowledge that I came away with, and it all ended up being an incredibly tiny fraction of the information behind the expedition. As it turns out, there’s more than one side to the story. The first couple days was all about training me on anything and everything having to do with LEWI. Waves of information came at me about the history of this national historical park, the native coastal tribes, the story behind the expedition, the ecosystem of the area, safety, etc. (just to name a few). That’s what being a part of the Interpretation Division is all about; just knowing information to be able to give to visitors. There was just too much I didn’t know, and it was completely mind boggling new information that honestly made me feel a little dumb. For starters, did you know that there were more than three people on this expedition? Yup. Thirty-three men in total, among them a slave named York, Sacagawea’s baby and a furry companion named Seaman. The expedition itself was anything but easy. It was filled with much trial and error, through which in many cases the Native Americans like the Clatsop helped out the Corps of Discovery (Lewis and Clark’s squad). That’s one of the first things I learned. What?! 33? How come I have never heard of this man named York who apparently played a vital role in the survival of the group? I didn’t know there was a dog! What were some of the tribes that interacted with the members of the expedition? All that came with all the more questions, but the answers will be found in my reading this summer and I look forward to it! Encuentra Tu Parque Edith J.